Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Draper Street Hill Fight

Family is important. I grew up surrounded by family and family friends. My uncle Charles and aunt Myrtle lived immediately behind us and the fence had been cut down so we could go back and forth. He owned a bakery and would have donuts in his truck. He never said anything if I took only a couple. My Granny, mother's mom, lived sorta across-the-street. You had to cut through Mrs. Snellings yard and then you were in Granny's side yard. They didn't have fences. Mrs. Snellings daughter was my mother's best friend all through grade school and high school. So, Mrs. Snellings was like Granny #2. Granny's husband died before I was born so Mrs. Romberg rented the side bedroom in Granny's house. Mrs Romberg was like Granny #3. Two houses down from Granny's lived another uncle and aunt. Hugh and Loren were Presbyterians which was unusual in the family because everyone was not only Baptist but members of the Immanuel Baptist Church. They had two kids with whom I played all of the time. In among all this neighborhood family, lived long-time friends who were like family. There are advantages and disadvantages of growing up surrounded by family and family friends. One of the advantages were the many bathrooms accessible whenever you needed to go. You just had to run in a house and yell your name. Also, in these many neighborhood kitchens, someone seemed always to be baking goodies that seemed always available for a hungry kid. A disadvantage was that everybody knew your business. One time David and I were on our way to school when we got into a pushing fight. David was my best friend and we always walked or ran to school together because school was only two blocks up the Draper street hill. In this fight, one of us fell into Mrs. O'Connell's bush and broke some of the limbs. We got out of the bush real fast and ran on to school. We thought we had made it because Mrs. O'Connell hadn't come out and yelled at us. She must have known all of the women in the neighborhood because they came to her back room and had the hair fixed every week. When David and I got to school, Mr. Sercey met us. He was the Principal. He asked if we had fought and broken Mrs. O'Connell bush. We couldn't lie, even though we really wanted to, because he was a Sunday School teacher in our Department at the Immanuel Baptist Church. We had to confess. He told us that Mrs. O'Connell had called him and he had called both of our Dad's who said that we should get a paddling. David and I leaned over Principal's Sercey's desk and he paddled us each one time with a wooden paddle. The hardest thing about being a boy in grade school and getting paddled is not to cry. Getting paddled was hard enough but years later when I was a college student at Oklahoma Baptist University, Mr. Sercey was one of my professors and he not only remembered but, also, told te class about the paddling. That's an example of a disadvantage of growing up surrounded by family and family friends.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Bobby and the penny

Bobby is my younger brother who is developmentally disabled. During a recent colonoscopy a pre-cancerous polyp was found. It was in a bend so it was difficult to completely remove. Yesterday was the third effort to get all of it. If this failed the Physician was going to schedule him for major surgery in order to remove that part of his colon. After yesterday's procedure the Physician said, "I got clean tissue. So, I think we've avoided the major surgery." When Bobby began to wake up in the recovery room, his first thick-lipped comment was did I still have the penny he had found in the parking lot of Wal-Mart and would I put it in his bank account. Well, thanks-be-to-God I had a penny in my pocket. Therefore all is well. We are thankful that he has avoided major surgery.